Until the 1990s, only 2 peppers had reached the 350,000 Scoville Unit mark, the habanero and the Scotch bonnet. A hybrid variety, Red Savina Habanero won the Guinness World Record crown in 1994 measuring 570,000 Scoville Unites. That was believed to be the  limit of hotness for more than a decade. Then, the Bhut Jolokia, a variety grown in Assam, India, was being studied by the Indian army for use in grenades. The Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper) averaged more than one million Scoville Units, measured by high performance liquid chromatography. That opened Pandora’s Box. The flood gate of record breaking hot peppers never slowed down. In February of 2012, the 2 million Scoville mark was hit by the  Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. Two Million SCU’s is the same strength as police-grade pepper spray.

 The Scoville scale begins at zero and ends at 16 million which is pure Capsaicin. Mild bell peppers rate 200 to 700 SCU’s. The Jalapeño is mid range hot pepper at about 2,500 to 5,000 SCU’s. Chillies such as cayenne, aji and pequin will rate about 30,000 to 50,000 units, while the habernero is between 100,00 and 500,000 units. The Trinidad Scorpion cultivars can top the scale at over 2m Scoville units.over-a-million-scu-units-club-1